One of the national health objectives for the United States for 2010 is to reduce the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults to > or =12% (objective 27.1a). To assess progress toward this objective, CDC analyzed self-reported data from the 2001 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The findings of this analysis indicate that, in 2001, approximately 22.8% of U.S. adults were current smokers compared with 25.0% in 1993. During 1965-2001, smoking prevalence declined faster among non-Hispanic blacks aged > or =18 years than among non-Hispanic whites the same age. Preliminary data for January-March 2002 indicate a continuing decline in current smoking prevalence among adults overall. However, the overall decline in smoking is not occurring at a rate that will meet the national health objective by 2010. Increased emphasis on a comprehensive approach to cessation that comprises educational, economic, clinical, and regulatory strategies is required to further reduce the prevalence of smoking in the United States.